When I started doing CrossFit two years ago, I already considered myself decently athletic and really just desired to shed some unwanted pounds. But this exercise methodology soon came to mean much more to me than a quick way to get skinny. It changed my life: in a couple of ways.
First and foremost, CrossFit has become a way of living for me. It’s not the typical “drop 10 in two weeks” infomercial on Saturday mornings; it’s the understanding that a balance of exercise, smart food choices, regular quality sleep, and mental well being must be maintained for optimal quality of life. Add in some healthy competition and a network of camaraderie from others who are equally committed to this high caliber lifestyle, and it becomes a powerful force. So powerful, in fact, that I don’t think I could ever go back to how I lived before.
But perhaps the change that has been the most striking and unforeseeable during this two-year journey has been my amazing improvement in athletic performance. I didn’t start CrossFit in the hopes of getting stronger or faster, I never was an outstanding athlete, but that’s exactly what happened. Slowly by slowly I started unintentionally achieving things I never knew I was capable of achieving and that most people tell you are not possible. Is it possible to be in better shape at 29 than at 18? Is it possible for a woman to deadlift almost two times her body weight and clean her body weight – especially when she has no previous Olympic lifting experience? Is it possible for that same woman to do 45 thrusters and 45 pullups in under six minutes? Most of my family and friends outside the CrossFit world, in fact all, would drop their jaws in disbelief at what I can do at the gym if they ever saw me in action. And they would never think that they, too, are capable of these amazing feats. But that’s the thing. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I was capable of these accomplishments. They just happened. Week after week, I set a modest goal, reached that goal, and then set another. I simply showed up and gave my best. And now, two years later, look at me! I am more of an athlete than I ever thought possible! Now, I am not trying to toot my own horn – this is every dedicated CrossFitter’s journey, as long as she or he is showing up every day and not selling her/himself short. This remarkable, almost magic-like quality of CrossFit has permeated into other aspects of my life as well. Imagine – if I can reach these lofty, crazy goals in the gym through hard work and dedication, then what other seemingly impossible goals can I achieve in life? CrossFit gives me the courage to reevaluate what is “possible” in the world and question the apparently impossible. With a little sweat and determination, I can achieve what others do not even dare to dream of because, I – we – are capable of so much more in life that we do not even dare to consider. And this is why CrossFit has changed me forever.